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The Black Women Shaping The Notting Hill Carnival Bounce Back

Let’s go back in time for a moment. It’s about 5am on a warm early Monday morning in August 2019. London is awash with eager Notting Hill Carnival (NHC) masqueraders and organisers waking up to get ready for a long day on their feet. 

It takes a while for the masqueraders to partially dress (I say partially, because wearing a full NHC costume from home to West London is no easy feat), create dazzling eye make-up looks to match their colourful attire and ensure they’re ready for the road. 

Once they reach their destination a few hours later, masquerade band leaders are already at the forefront, setting up camp, ensuring the masqueraders have everything they need for the day and liaising with police support. Caterers are preparing breakfast, lunch and snacks, then before you know it, bands are off to their starting points, Soca music reverberating throughout the sound systems.